While in San Diego in January visiting family, I went to the San Diego zoo and took some photos with my great niece and sister. This “Flamingo” painting was done from one of my photos but I wanted it to be more abstract. You can see by the progression of painting stages that it went through many alterations. As I paint, every stroke of the brush makes changes that are more dramatic than expected. Then decisions must be made whether to follow that new path or go back to an original plan. This 36×24″ painting kicked my butt over the week of progress because I wanted cohesiveness yet spontaneous brush strokes evident. Painting is a very MENTAL activity. Its such hard work yet I am sure that it boosts my brain activity and challenges me on so many levels. At this point I am in the last third of my life and feel more alive and passionate about being a painter.